However in this case I want to remove the lanolin. The first reason is that when keeping it lying around for a year I have understood that the lanolin may begin to harden. The other reason is that I want to make a nice-wear jumper for my husband out of it. If I was making a work sweater for him I would keep the lanolin so that it is water resistant.
So how do you go about washing and removing lanolin from a fleece. It's all about high temperatures and minimal abrasion. I have used the following tutorials: Washing Raw Wool by Holly Shaltz and Washing Fleece by Fuzzy Galore. If you want to try this out for your self I would suggest reading these two tutorials. But I would like to share my experience with you first.
- Not having a top loading washing machine I was forces to use a couple of buckets. I turned the water boiler on and used the kettle to get warm enough temperatures. My thermometer became my best friend.
- I first lowered the fleece into the water in some washing nets. But I found that the water did not get through the fleece that way. So I began to dunk the fleece into the buckets without the net.
- I wash using about 5 buckets of water. The first with lots of dish washing liquid and water at 70 degrees Celsius. The second with a bit of dish washing liquid (I used Ecover) and 60 degree Celsius water. The third and fourth with just water at 50 degrees and the last at 40 degrees.
- I found another use for the lingerie nets I bought. I put a bit of the fleece in a net and swung it out in the garden like you would with a salad bag. It was a great way of getting the water out of the fleece without abrasion.
- I then laid the fleece out to dry on an old towel and turned it once in a while. It took on average 24-48 hours to dry through.